Farmers Perception of Low Soil Fertility and Hybrid Maize and the Implications in Plant Breeding

Priscilla F. Ribeiro, Baffour Badu-Apraku, Vernon E. Gracen, Eric Y. Danquah, Manfred B. Ewool, Charles Afriyie-Debrah, Benedicta N. Frimpong

Abstract


In spite of efforts by national and international scientists to improve crop productivity, varieties of crops grown in Africa have low productivity. Varieties improved for yield have had low adoption rates among small scale farmers. Productivity of maize remains low in the smallholder sector because the crop continues to be grown under stress-prone environments and with limited resources. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools, including two focus group discussions and interviews with 120 individual farmers were conducted in Wenchi and Ejura-Sekyedumase districts in Ghana to determine maize production constraints, assess farmers’ perceptions of low soil fertility in maize production and their coping strategies for the control of low soil fertility. Opportunities for breeding new maize varieties with tolerance to low soil fertility and improving farmers' perception on adoption and utilisation of maize hybrids were also examined. Results from interviews revealed that low soil fertility, drought, diseases and insect pests are the dominant constraints in maize productivity in the two districts. Farmers in the study area also have preference for low soil nitrogen (low N) tolerant, drought tolerant, disease and pest resistant varieties that require lower inputs. They prefer maize varieties which produce slender cobs that are light in weight with lots of grain. The farmers lack knowledge about hybrids but are willing to adopt maize hybrids that are tolerant to low N.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/sar.v6n2p1

Copyright (c) 2017 Priscilla F. Ribeiro, Baffour Badu-Apraku, Vernon E. Gracen, Eric Y. Danquah, Manfred B. Ewool, Charles Afriyie-Debrah, Benedicta N. Frimpong

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)  E-mail: sar@ccsenet.org

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